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Sep 4, 2007

Suibokuga- Bamboo

rice paper mounted on Japanese matboard
185 mm h x 63 mm w
Lately, I have been interested in doing Chinese Ink Painting again. For the past several years, I have been doing mostly figures on rice paper.
Last night, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and decided to paint. I found a sheet of locally handmade rice paper that I had purchased some time back. Being in Japan, I can walk into any art store or stationary store and buy rice paper, but you have to drive out into the country and buy direct from the Paper Maker. I don't have a car, so whenever there is a traditional crafts show downtown, I am definitely there. Handmade paper is usually thicker, and I love the feel of it. The paint flows differently depending on which artisan made the paper, giving each painting a different effect.
I painted bamboo last night. When I started my studies of this art in Sapporo, Japan (years ago), bamboo was the first subject that I learned to paint. There are four main motifs that must be learned and which also represent the seasons of Japan: chrysanthemums (winter), cherry blossoms(spring), bamboo (summer) and suisai (autumn). Suisai is a type of small, daffodil flower. Bamboo and Suisai are my favorite, but Bamboo especially.

There is a certain peace with myself that I feel when I paint bamboo. I remember when I was learning Suibokuga, my teacher would stress that my mind must be clear of all unrelated details. My thoughts must be focused on my brush, the ink, the paper and the moment of painting. She also reminded me that the hand alone does not paint the picture, but my entire body.


Neda said...

This is such an exquisite post. Painting must be like poetry to you. Do you know if the rice paper sold in the US is genuine or just a commercial version of it? I have always liked touching the variety of papers but I feel they are almost sanctified in their refinement and i would never dare use them for a collage. Thank you for your post!

Gallery Juana said...

Neda, I always appreciate your comments. About the genuineness of rice paper in the States: I have been happy with the rice paper from Oriental Art Supply and Hiromi Paper. When I was in the States, I bought most supplies (other than paper) from the first shop, but most of my paper was from the second shop. The links are in the right column of this blog.

Rice paper is used for collage in Japan so many ways. A few are Chigir-e (my poppies), paper lanterns and mixed media cards. If I get a chance, I will put together a sample of all the ways rice paper can be used. OOoh, now I am excited about that!

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